‘Stranger than Fiction’ (2006) is a story-lover’s gem.
I discovered this film a little late for some reason. It was recommended to me by a friend recently knowing how much I love the nature and evolving structure of a story. This is a story about a man named Harold (Will Ferrell) who leads a repetitive and mundane existence timed precisely by his wrist watch. What Harold soon begins to realise, via some pretty strange ‘auditory hallucinations'(narrating his life), is that he is the lead character in a novel and that his character is destined to die.
Tormented author, Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson) narrates Harold’s life and when one pertinent part of the narration states ‘little did he know…’, Harold decides to get some help. Together with literature professor, Jules Hilbert (Dustan Hoffman), Harold must figure out the course his story will take and whether he is a character in a comedy or tragedy.
The film is funny and poignant and explores the nature of story, character, genre and the ‘perfect ending’.
This is a film that offers up some amazing dialogue and pertinent screen writing echoing the very nature of human existence, albeit in its fictional setting:
Harrold: You’re asking me to knowingly face my death?
Professor Hilbert: It’s the nature of all tragedy, Harold. The hero dies, but the story lives on.
Professor Hilbert: Why?
Karen Eiffel: Because its a book about a man who doesn’t know he’s about to die and then dies, but if the man does know he’s going to die and dies anyway, dies willingly knowing he could stop it, then… isn’t that the sort of man you want to keep alive?
Hope that hasn’t given away too much for you to watch it?
You won’t be disappointed.